The Role of the Governors:

The school governors are volunteers and give their time freely.  They bring a range of skills and experience to supporting the school and are committed to the school’s values and standards. Although the governors oversee the school, they do not run it: that is the head’s job.

As governors we have a range of roles and responsibilities.

Working with the head we set the strategic direction for the school, establishing the school’s aims and objectives and how we want the school to develop and improve to the benefit of all our children.

The governors are there to support and challenge the school’s leadership team.  It is our job to hold the head teacher to account to ensure the best possible outcomes for our children.  We do this in a constructive and positive fashion by rigorous questioning and challenge.

It is the governors’ responsibility to oversee the finances of the school, to agree the annual budget, and to ensure that money is well spent in line with the school’s priorities.

The governors have a responsibility to ensure that the school complies with all relevant legislation and regulations, especially safeguarding.

The governors appoint the headteacher and review the headteacher’s performance.

Working with the headteacher and the school’s senior leadership, the governors are there to ensure that our children are safe and have every opportunity to flourish and grow at St Gregory’s into resilient and confident learners, and that our school remains at the centre of our community into the future.

What Skills do You Need to be an Effective Governor?

It is important that each governor can use their skills in the governor’s meetings. Some of the skills that are important are as follows:

  • Listening
  • Organising
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Teamworking 
  • Governors who have life experience and transferrable work skills (such as I.T, accounting and legal) can also make an important contribution to the work of the Governing Body

But the most important thing is ENTHUSIASM!  

Interested in becoming a Governor?  Please contact our Chair:

Meet Our Governors:

Chair of Governors: Mr Nick Chapman – appointed until Jan 2025

Chair of governors; member of Finance Committee and Quality of Learning Committee; subject link governor for English and the Humanities.

I was appointed chair of governors in 2018 having re-joined the governing body in 2016.  I was chair of governors previously when my two daughters were at the school so have had a long and affectionate involvement with St Gregory’s.

My career has been in publishing and media in London and Dublin as a Managing Director of BBC Worldwide and Member of the BBC Board of management, and as Managing Director of The Irish Times, Ireland’s leading newspaper.

Since settling in North Dorset with my family I have served as Chair of the Trustee Board of St Margaret’s Hospice Somerset and as a Non-Executive Director of Dorset Healthcare NHS Trust.  The school is now my priority and I very much enjoy working with my fellow governors, the head and her team and being in school with the children.

Vice Chair & Governor in charge of Safeguarding: Mrs Kate Hoare

Member of Quality of Learning Committee, Partnership Steering Group; subject link governor for EYFS/Early Years.

I joined the governing body in January 2020 having been Chair of the school’s PTFA for three years and on the Board of the charity Homestart prior to that.  I moved with my family to North Dorset back in 2015 and all three of my girls have been at the school.   I use to work in PR/Marketing for hotels, restaurants and lifestyle brands.  Whilst being a governor is a new role for me I am really enjoying it, understanding the school from a different perspective, being a part of Debbie Field’s team and striving to make the school the very best we can for the children.

Ex Officio Governor: Revd Gaenor Hockey

I came to live in Marnhull in September 2019 with my husband, 2 teenage daughters, our dog and cat to begin this post!

I have been in ordained ministry for 24 years having served in a variety of settings: Yeovil, Buckinghamshire, Devonport and Plymouth.

Before I was ordained I studied theology to postgraduate level and before that trained and worked as a staff nurse in Oxford.

In ministry I have always had practical involvement with the primary and secondary schools in my area- from setting up a lunch club, an after school club and building a spiritual garden to leading school ethos and spirituality development – as well as lead and facilitate school worship and RE.

I have had the privilege of working with Church and state schools of different sizes and settings and have always enjoyed working with both children, staff and families to see Christian faith and spirituality expressed creatively and meaningfully for each new generation.

As ex officio governor I look forward to supporting the school’s development and strengthening the links here between church and school life, so that there is greater mutual support, encouragement and building up of community life.

My special responsibilities at the school are Worship and RE, PSHE, Art, Music and Drama.

Foundation Governor & Chair of the quality of Learning Committee: Mr James Risley

As both a foundation governor and a parent of children that attend St Gregory’s I am passionate about the school’s potential, the quality of our children’s education and the strong links between the school, the church and the broader community.  Having served in the Royal Navy as a nuclear engineer on submarines for many years I now enjoy running a family business in parallel with a consultancy role for the Ministry of Defence.  As a member of the Quality Learning Committee and the subject link governor for ICT and science I aim to support our teaching staff to nurture our children’s inquisitive nature and their enjoyment of learning.  I am immensely proud to be a foundation governor at St Gregory’s and am excited about the school’s future.

Foundation Governor: Mrs Sharon Martin

I was invited to join the Board at St Gregory’s School as a Foundation Governor, and was appointed in May 2021. I was elected as a churchwarden in May 2022.

Before moving to Marnhull in June 2020 with my husband to be nearer to family, I worked as a teacher and then a senior leader for over 30 years in several independent primary schools in North London and the suburbs. I spent time with every age group, from Reception to Year 6 and beyond, and have taught a range of subjects.

Having been brought up in a small, friendly community in the North of England, I am so glad we have made our home here – everyone says hello! We were quickly made very welcome by our new neighbours, by Reverend Gaenor and the congregation at St Gregory’s. We were also both made very welcome by the cricket club; I enjoy scoring for the 3s sometimes when my other half is playing. Our two Labs get us out walking every day, which has been another good way to get to know the village and meet people – and they like popping into the pub for a biscuit too.

Co-Opted Governor: Mr Peter Duke

Member of Finance and Premises Committee.

Headteacher: Mrs Debbie Williams

As well as being the schools Headteacher I am also the safeguarding lead at St Gregory’s.

I have been a teacher for 31 years and a Headteacher since 2016

Associate Governor: Mr Steve Penson

Member of Finance and Health & Safety Committee.

My career has been in business improvement and customer service, holding senior board member positions for global blue-chip companies.

I moved to Marnhull in 2016 and became a trustee for Friends of Guys Marsh Prison, working with prisoners to help them reintegrate into the working world on release. I also volunteer with Young Enterprise, working with school leavers. and Sported UK, helping sporting clubs with the business side of their activities.

Staff Governor: Mrs Michelle Cook-Paine


Parent Governor: Mr Barry Shea

I have been a parent governor since June 2022. I have been a director of a wholesale garden furniture and statue supplier since 2008.

I have also been Chair of the PTFA where considerable work was done to link ever closer with the local community.  I have experienced all facets of the school and have enjoyed immensely helping the staff and children as much as I possibly can.

I am a father of 3, all of whom have or still are attending St Greg’s.

It is my great pleasure to assist my fellow Governors in helping everyone at St Greg’s in our endeavours to guide, educate and keep safe our young folk.


Clerk to the Governors Mrs Tracey Rennard

Governing Body Structure 2020

Governing Body Structure

Register of Business Interests

Register of Business Interests